Propose a research project. A research proposal should provide a research question, introduce relevant past scholarship, and describe the steps that you will take in pursuing an answer to your research question. Your topic can be on anything related to the history of Japanese popular culture. Keep in mind that your two final projects (Pecha Kucha presentation and magazine contribution) at the end of the semester will be based upon the topic you investigate in your research proposal.
A research proposal should have at least three sections: introduction, methods section, and annotated bibliography.
Your introduction should introduce the topic of your research proposal, providing a description of the topic, some historical background, and your research question. The introduction should describe to your audience why this particular topic is important.
Your methods section should describe how you will tackle the research question you proposed in the introduction. What are relevant primary and secondary sources that you will need to examine? What aspects of your topic area will you need to concentrate on? What are some of the historical factors that will be helpful to know in better understanding your research topic?
The annotated bibliography should list the sources you will use in writing your research paper. It should list both primary sources (sources that are the primary topic of your research produced in the era you are investigating) and secondary sources (past research or commentary on the primary sources). You list of sources should be annotated, which means that each entry should have a short explanation that describes why that source is helpful to your project.
Your research proposal should be at least 1200 words in length. As you can see from the above, it takes quite a bit of research to write a research proposal, so you should start as soon as possible. Since this is a topic that you will be researching all semester, be sure to pick a topic that you find interesting that will keep you engaged.